Bosnia's energy sector reforms stalled - Energy Community
BANJA LUKA (Bosnia and Herzegovina), October 9 (SeeNews) – Bosnia’s stagnation in further reforming its energy sectors continued in 2015, with the country making little effort in implementing regulations under the EU’s Third Energy Package, a commitment it took on as part of its membership in the Energy Community, the Vienna-based organization said.
The Energy Community said in an annual country report that the absence of serious efforts in Bosnia during the reporting period does not bode well, with the people of Bosnia once again deprived of the benefits of reform on account of the dysfunctional structures and the political interests of a few.
The Energy Community said the required reforms in the electricity sector are stalled, adding that the unbundling, both functional and legal, of the distribution system operators in the integrated supply utilities must be implemented.
“While the regulatory environment for switching is developed and compliant, and it seems that efficient unbundling is the major missing step for opening of the supply to competition,” the Energy Community said.
Regarding the gas sector, the Community said that in the absence of any progress during the reporting year, the conclusions and priorities proposed in 2014 have been amplified to a critical point and added that it is of utmost importance that Bosnia adopts a state level gas law, which could be based on the draft provided by the Energy Community Secretariat.
In terms of oil, the Community said that Bosnia mainly imports crude oil from Russia - with imports in 2014 above 953.5 kt, around 6.2% lower than in 2013 - but added that although the autonomous entities that make up the country - the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat federation, are aware of the country's vulnerability in case of an oil supply disruption, there is no desire to transfer sovereignty on oil stocks to the state level.
The report concludes that given the dynamics and particular interests of the two entities, it will be important to explore various options, including industry based models, in order to design a system which is best able to adapt to Bosnia.
Another field where Bosnia is struggling to keep in line with the reforms and directives of the Energy Community is the renewable energy sector.
Bosnia committed to a 40% renewables target for 2020, starting from 34% in 2009, on the entity level but a state National Renewable Energy Action Plan is missing, meaning that the binding targets for 2020 are not stipulated by any legal act.
In the area of biofuels, sustainability criteria need to be implemented and an adequate certification system needs to be set up, the Community said.
The Vienna-based Energy Community was established by an international law treaty in October 2005. As of July 1, 2013, the parties to the treaty are the European Union and Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. The key aim of the organization is to extend the EU internal energy market to Southeast Europe and beyond on the basis of a legally binding framework.